By News Staff

To help state officials better guard against cybersecurity threats, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced on Oct. 2 the creation of a new organization. Called the Resource Center for State Cybersecurity, the new organization will help state leaders create policy to protect infrastructure such as data and communication systems, financial records, banking systems, water systems, electrical grids and energy companies.

The resource center will be led by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “The overall goal of the resource center is to help governors create the most robust policy environment possible to protect our infrastructure, our government and our citizens from cyberthreats and data breaches,” O’Malley said. “This project is a significant step because it marks the first major focus on the role of states in protecting cybersecurity infrastructure.”

The first thing the center will do is identify what states should do to prepare effective cybersecurity. The group will convene a planning group, commission white papers, create a national policy, identify a role for governors, share the information found by the group and provide technical assistance to governors' offices while they implement the instituted cybersecurity recommendations.

“This is a critical issue for governors and for states. Through this project, we’ll focus on several important areas including actions governors can take, partnering with private industry and working among all levels of government,” Snyder said. “I look forward to working with NGA to create strategies that will help states deal with this challenge.”